Why Bournemouth dodged a bullet by not signing Vincenzo Grifo
Back in April, a report from the Liverpool Echo had claimed that Bournemouth were interested in signing Hoffenheim star, Vincenzo Grifo.
Bournemouth weren’t the only club tracking the German-born Italian’s progress; the likes of Watford, Southampton and Everton were also keen for his signature after he impressed on loan at Freiburg.
Vincenzo Grifo, 26, was expected to be sold by Hoffenheim this summer but interestingly, he has stayed at the club and came as a second-half substitute in their season opener against Eintracht Frankfurt. In the 16 games he played on loan at Freiburg, the 26-year-old had contributed with six goals and four assists.
Despite watching the one-cap Italy international reviving his career at Freiburg, Bournemouth have done well to avoid signing Grifo in the summer.
Some of Bournemouth’s stars like Ryan Fraser, David Brooks and Callum Wilson were hot properties during the summer transfer window. Fraser, Brooks and Wilson were instrumental in helping the Cherries achieve a 14-placed finish last season. And while all three have stayed at the club, Brooks has been ruled out for three months after undergoing ankle surgery.
On loan from Liverpool, Harry Wilson has replaced his Welsh compatriot and scored a really good goal in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa last weekend. Wilson has seamlessly slotted into Eddie Howe’s side and with Arnaut Groeneveld waiting in the wings for his opportunities, Vincenzo Grifo would have struggled for regular game time.
Grifo is undoubtedly a talented footballer, who has done well in the Bundesliga, but splashing a lot of money for a player that hasn’t played in the Premier League was a big risk for Bournemouth. Some may argue that the Cherries should have gone all out to sign the Italian, even more so if it is for a technically-gifted and versatile player like Grifo.
The 26-year-old who can play on the left, right or through the middle, has a superb right foot with good crossing and passing ability, as well as very good shooting ability from distance which he showcased in his six-month spell with Freiburg. Nevertheless, his lack of experience in English football could have been the reason why Howe didn’t make a move.
Grifo is far from a finished article that Howe has done very well to avoid bringing in at the club, even if he potentially could have added a touch of flair and creativity to the Bournemouth attack.
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In fact, credit to the Cherries manager to identify Harry Wilson’s quality and availability, and bringing him on a season-long loan from Liverpool to bolster his attacking department.